For years, I have been a strong proponent of congressional oversight of the executive branch.
In fact, Congress’ shirking of its responsibilities has been one of my biggest complaints since I was elected. This oversight is necessary regardless of which party is in power. Democrats and Republicans can both fall victim to the culture of power that corrupts so many in Washington, D.C.
Just weeks into our new administration, bolstered by salacious media reports, there have been calls to investigate the influence Russia may have exerted in last year’s election. I support these calls and think Congress should fully investigate any potential foreign government influencing the election, not because I believe that there has been wrongdoing but because the American people need to know that there was no wrongdoing.
I was one of the first Republicans to publicly call for the House Intelligence Committee to investigate the claims of Russian influence, and I’m pleased the committee is doing this as we speak.
Earlier this week, the Judiciary Committee debated H. Res 111. This resolution sponsored by the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee called for the attorney general to send the House any information the Department of Justice currently holds on active investigations that may involve the president or a member of his executive office. It also called for the release of any information about the president’s investments and business affairs. The resolution was introduced under the guise of “investigating” the president’s ties to Russia.
Unfortunately, the resolution missed the mark and seemed more like a witch hunt than an objective, fact-finding effort. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees hold jurisdiction over the damaging effects of these alleged actions, so they should be the committees to investigate. If they find any evidence of wrongdoing, I hope that the Judiciary Committee will be the first to stand up for the Constitution. But it’s time to stop playing politics and pretending it’s noble.
The left’s newfound concern about Russian interference with U.S. politics would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. Numerous times over the past eight years, Democrats have turned a blind eye toward Republican concerns about Russian aggression. In 2012, President Obama openly mocked candidate Romney for saying Russia was, “without question, our number one geopolitical foe.” In 2014, Russia launched cyberattacks on computer networks at the Department of State and White House. Just last year, planes aggressively buzzed American assets in the vicinity of the Black Sea. Russian antagonism has only grown unchecked under Obama’s watch. Apparently, President Obama and his party only awoke to the Russian threat once President Trump won the election.
I believe oversight is important, no matter who is in charge, and I will actively challenge the president, Democrat or Republican if they cross the line. However, until we have some tangible proof that this president has, Democrats in Congress need to be more focused on the people’s priorities and stop playing games.